By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO
The groundhog might have seen his shadow (for our overseas friends, that indicates six more weeks of winter), but spring is quickly approaching from where I sit as the days get longer and warmer. I’m looking forward to more outdoor activities including hitting the road on my Harley.
For instance, it’s hard to believe that the 2023 United Nations Water Conference is just over a month away. This is the first UN conference focused on water in more than 40 years, so it’s bound to be a vital event. I will be attending along with Matt Howard, our vice president of water stewardship. Members, please let us know if you’re attending and what your priorities are for the conference as we would welcome the opportunity to see you.
The UN conference is one indication that the world is finally taking global water challenges seriously. Here’s another – when asked recently what climate issue she is most passionate about, Vice President Kamala Harris answered “water policy” and noted that water is a national security issue.
That’s something The Water Council has been saying for awhile now. Last summer, we announced our partnership with the U.S. Army Reserve to recruit water industry professionals to serve as Public Water and Sanitation Civil Affairs Officers. This effort has already seen strong interest, and we’re hoping to find additional water professionals willing to use their expertise to assist the United States and the world in solving critical water problems. Visit our website to learn more about the value and benefits of serving.
One of our latest collaborations involves water and energy resiliency in manufacturing and utilities. Last fall we applied, with the Wisconsin Technology Council, MKE Tech Hub Coalition, Marquette University, Madison Region Economic Partnership, and several other Wisconsin NGOs, businesses and universities, for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create a resiliency innovation engine in Wisconsin.
While we wait to hear from NSF on the outcome of our proposal, we believe strongly that Wisconsin already possess the entities and expertise to excel as a resiliency innovation engine, so we are charging forward. We will discuss the proposal and the work already underway at our first 2023 member meeting March 8 at InSinkErator’s world headquarters in Mount Pleasant, Wis. You won’t want to miss the tour beforehand of InSinkErator’s state-of-the-art facility, including the Grind Test Lab & Kitchen and other research and development areas. Click here to register.
We are excited to announce a new international partnership with CLEAN, Denmark’s environmental technology cluster. The partnership will facilitate collaboration and exchange between The Water Council and CLEAN and open doors between our members to enable innovation and business opportunities in each other’s markets.
The Water Council already works with Danish companies APX10, which recently opened its U.S. headquarters in our building, the Global Water Center, and WaterWebTools, a SaaS company specializing in hydrological and water quality forecasting. Our European representative, Beverley Ferrara, recently wrote about WaterWebTools seeking growth opportunities in the U.S. She also wrote a companion piece about a U.S. company, Rapid Radicals Technology, looking to expand into Europe.
Make sure to also check out the latest entry in our Where Are They Now? series focused on BloomOptix. BloomOptix specializes in technology to monitor harmful algal blooms. The company participated in our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator and our Pilot Program in 2021, helping it achieve strong growth in 2022.
This month, we signed contracts with two more companies joining WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified. We are excited to share their names with you in the coming days and weeks. Behind the scenes, we are talking to more and more companies from a variety of industries about improving their water stewardship performance and reporting through WAVE.
We’re grateful to have partners in the sustainable investment field who understand why water stewardship is so critical for companies. One of those partners is Riverwater Partners, an ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment advisory firm. Riverwater recently wrote about its commitment to water stewardship and why it works with The Water Council. Check it out.
“We see the WAVE program as an ideal vehicle for management teams to identify their greatest water challenges and opportunities — and to create a plan to address them.”
-Cindy Bohlen, Riverwater Partners
Food and beverage is one industry that has an acute need for corporate water stewardship. That’s obvious from the headline of a recent article in Food Navigator USA: ‘Act now!’: Food firms massively unprepared as US water risks reach boiling point. The article quotes Matt Howard, our VP of water stewardship, and the report he co-wrote with Sustainalytics about water stress in the Great Plains region and how it could affect packaged food companies.
This is a good opportunity to remind our new members all our subscribers to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for daily posts with compelling water content. However you connect with us, we are happy to have you!